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Paszek Beats Jankovic, China Open Kicks Off

Tamira Paszek pulled off the first upset of the $4.5-million China Open in Beijing on Saturday.

Published October 01, 2011 12:00

Paszek Beats Jankovic, China Open Kicks Off
Tamira Paszek

BEIJING, China - Jelena Jankovic became the first seeded casualty of the China Open on Saturday night, leading 5-4 in the opening set but losing seven games in a row and eventually falling to Tamira Paszek in straight sets, 75 64.

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Jankovic, the No.10 seed and a winner in Beijing in 2008, led by a break three times in the first set but after the seven game stretch never really recovered en route to the straight set loss. It was her first loss in the pair's four meetings.

"My opponent played much better. It was very cold and the ball kept flying off my racquet, but it's the same for both of us and she dealt with the conditions better than I did," Jankovic said. "I've been coming to Beijing for many years. I love this tournament and this venue, and the most important thing is I love the people here. Unfortunately I didn't play so well tonight. I hope to come back."

Jankovic had finished the last four seasons in the Top 10 but at No.12 in the world this week, and No.14 in the Race Standings, it is possible a fifth time won't happen this year. "I've worked very hard the last I don't know how many years and I'm proud to have been in the Top 10 for so long. This year I had a lot of injuries. I'll finish this season the best I can, and then in the off-season to come back in 2012 and be one of the top players again. That's my goal.

"I believe in myself and I believe in my game. I think I have the game. I just hope I'll be healthy so I can work hard and do my best on court."

No.7 seed Francesca Schiavone, No.9 seed Andrea Petkovic, No.15 seed Roberta Vinci and No.16 seed Svetlana Kuznetsova all won in straight sets. Kuznetsova, who won this tournament two years ago, won by retirement when Alexandra Dulgheru stopped trailing 62 41 with a bilateral knee injury.

Petra Cetkovska, Jarmila Gajdosova and Sofia Arvidsson were also first round winners. Cetkovska had the most dramatic win of the day, rallying from 64 40 down and saving two match points to beat Sara Errani, 46 76(5) 64.

Chanelle Scheepers, Barbora Zahlavova Strycova, Christina McHale, Monica Niculescu, Carla Suárez Navarro, Eleni Daniilidou, Virginie Razzano and Laura Robson all secured berths in the main draw with wins in the final round of qualifying. Angelique Kerber, the top seed in qualifying, was edged for a spot in the main draw by No.16 seed Daniilidou, 26 63 64.

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